Tattoos have been commonplace throughout the history of human beings. The process is unlike other body modifications techniques, as instead of inserting materials or items onto the body it involves marking the skin with ink. Civilizations stretching back thousands of years have included examples of the practice, with differences between the reasons behind the tattoos and their design varying greatly according to culture and location.
Oftentimes, tribes would tattoo their members as a rite of passage or as a mark for bravery or good deeds, while in other cases, the marks were for spiritual and religious reasons. They have even been used to mark people in the same way as a brand on cattle and as a punishment to show others that a person has committed a crime.
Now though, tattoos have become more of an artistic or aesthetic quality. While some people still get tattoos for religious or cultural reasons, many now use them as a way to show devotion to ideas, people, important works of fiction or to show membership to a particular group, as is the case with gang and prison tattoos. With modern advances, materials and techniques, it is now possible for those wishing to get a tattoo to have incredibly intricate designs with vast detail. This means that people are able to get some stunning tattoos that simply weren’t possible in years gone by, however this hasn’t stopped some people from getting some rather pitiful ones, though.
10 Eye Under Chin
Having an eye tattooed onto your body is something that is surprisingly common. The detail and color of the organ can create a brilliant effect that is hard to beat, while it is often also associated with spirituality and works of fiction. This means that plenty of people have chosen to have eyes tattooed on their bodies across a range of locations, including the arms, legs, abdomen and even the face. The most bizarre though is probably this example with an eye located on the neck beneath the chin, effectively hiding it from view most of the time, until the man lifts up his head to reveal the creepy eyeball staring at you.
9 Fully Body Tattoo
This full body tattoo that covers the entire backside of a person in artwork is the work of tattooist Jason Butcher. This tattoo artist specializes in a genre that he created known as Death Romantic, which tries to combine elements of life and death together, with the art style appearing to be both spiritual and solid all at the same time. He particularly tries to make his work appear to be as realistic as possible, while keeping the overall theme of the tattoo as surreal. This full body piece embodies all of those qualities together to create an eerie, yet ultimately beautiful piece of art.
8 Stairway Arm
This tattoo has basically everything. An exciting 3D effect that makes it look as if you can actually climb the stairs up the arm, a gothic dark look that has plenty of great detail, it incorporates the shape of the arm to fully realize the effect and the use of different colors has helped to create a feeling of light bouncing off the surfaces. It’s crazy to think about how much work has gone into this relatively small tattoo and how long it would have taken to complete, but the end result is very much worth it.
7 Spiderman Chest
One of the most common types of tattoos that people get are ones that signify important things in their lives or something that they love. These types of tattoos let other people know how dedicated a fan you are and exactly how you feel about a particular brand. While most people will stick to getting a small badge, icon or image on an arm or leg, some like to express their love in bigger and more elaborate ways. This Spiderman fan will never have any trouble in convincing people just how much he enjoys the acrobatic comic book hero with this paradoxical tattoo that shows the infamous costume underneath his torn skin.
6 Big Mouth
While this tattoo certainly grabs your attention and will help you stand out in a crowd, it lacks some of the finesse of other examples that can be hidden from view with long sleeves or trousers. This might (probably will) cause some problems with getting jobs in the future or not terrifying small children who will see you. Although, it does have a few small advantages, such as the savings this person will be able to make on not having to buy a Halloween costume every year.
5 Bionic Arm
A common theme of many tattoos is 3D pieces that appear to depict an image as if it is a real life object rather than just a work of art. They can be very hard to get right, as they require superb attention to detail and a very talented tattooist in order to achieve the desired effect. This man doesn’t just have an expertly finished 3D tattoo though, he has actually incorporated a robotic theme into the tattoo so that it looks as if the flesh covering his body has been torn or burnt away to expose his bionic innards. It instantly reminds you of the Terminator movie series, suggesting that this particular person might be a science fiction fan. Or just a lover of really cool tattoos.
4 Back Forest
The back of a person can provide the perfect place for tattoos. It is essentially a large blank canvas that doesn’t have any significant features that can spoil potential tattoos, making it ideal for those who want massive detailed artworks rather than just small images for their tattoo. This particular example shows off those qualities exactly, with a back covered in several trees that show intricately drawn branches and leaves that would probably be impossible to achieve on other areas of the body.
3 Paw Print
Animals feature pretty heavily in tattoos thanks in part to the love that huge numbers of people have for their fellow species. However, those tattoos will usually see animals appear in full, with wild animals like lions, tigers, or sharks shown as the ferocious creatures as they are, with their heads often featuring prominently. One person though decided to go in a different direction to what most people prefer to do and instead of an animal, this tattoo actually showed what an attack from one might look like with this huge bear print etched into the skin of his leg.
2 Gun Tattoo
This is a rather meta tattoo, with the artwork actually depicting the very device that was used to create it. The tattoo gun though has not simply been drawn as a normal tattoo but is another example of the 3D art that is becoming more and more popular. The superb coloring, excellent shadows and delicate detail on the garter create an unbelievable effect that really does look like the woman is wearing a garter and gun rather than simply possessing a tattoo on her leg.
1 Optical Illusion
While many 3D tattoos can achieve effects that make them appear to be more than simply a 2D piece of art, most are only effective from very particular angles or if they are seen in isolation. The best examples don’t suffer from these limitations and look just as impressive when walking down the street as well as in a photograph. This arm tattoo is arguably one of the best ever created thanks not only to its bizarre 3D appearance, but also because it works as an optical illusion, giving the impression that it is in fact twisting into a hole that doesn’t exist. It probably leads to some strange moments if the owner ever drinks and forgets about it.